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Loaded Versus Unloaded Gait Balance Stability: A Measure of Dynamic Walking

[+] Author Affiliations
Carlotta Mummolo

New York University, Brooklyn, NYPolytechnic of Bari, Bari, Italy

Sukyung Park

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, Korea

Luigi Mangialardi

Polytechnic of Bari, Bari, Italy

Joo H. Kim

New York University, Brooklyn, NY

Paper No. DETC2015-47741, pp. V006T10A008; 7 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 11th International Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Control
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5716-8
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Several stability indices exist in the literature, each within their contexts and perspectives of quantification. However, no relevant index for the quantification of gait balance stability has been rigorously developed. Here, the novel Dynamic Gait Measure (DGM) is used to characterize the distinct gait balance stability of loaded walking, as compared to normal human walking. The DGM quantifies the normalized effects of inertia of a given gait with respect to the time-varying foot support region. The DGM is formulated in terms of the gait parameters reflecting a given gait strategy, and is extended to multiple steps of the gait cycle. The altered gait kinematics observed during load carriage (decreased single support duration, inertia effects, and step length) results in decreased DGM values (p < 0.0001), indicating that loaded walking is more statically stable compared with the unloaded walking. The DGM is compared with other common gait stability indices to validate its unique ability to catch the alteration (due to load carriage) in its corresponding gait stability characteristics.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Stability



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